Lightbox feature - non compliant for Accessibility

Nov 17, 2014

I discovered that the Close button (the red X button) is not accessible via keyboard and therefore is not compliant with accessibility standards. 

I discovered that this serious issue was reported approximately 16 months ago, yet it still has not been fixed - in Storyline 1 or Storyline 2. (See:

Can you please let us know how far up the priority list this bug is, as it renders the lightbox feature useless for anyone who wants to create courses that are accessible to users with a disability or impairment. 

11 Replies
Kuriko A

Hi Ashley

Thanks for your reply. I am very interested to know how Wendy got it working. My current project is a native SL2 file (not an upgraded SL1 file) and it is not working. As you know, setting up a lightbox is fairly straightforward - a one-step process - so I don't know how Wendy and I could have set it up differently...?

Anyhow, I'll submit a support ticket and await Wendy's reply.

Thanks again.

Wendy Farmer

Hi Kuriko

I just created another sample file in SL2.  Not knowing how your project is set up I have created a simple one slide and a lightbox slide.  I use the tab key to highlight each object, when I get to the Next button and it is highlighted I hit Enter key...the lightbox slide opens, I tab and the shape is highlighted, I tab again and the X is highlighted, then I hit the Enter key, the lightbox closes and returns to slide 1.


Kuriko A

Hi Wendy, 

I really appreciate your testing of this. Your file works just as you describe. But you will notice that once you return to Slide 1, if you click on the Next button a second time to activate the lightbox again, the X button no longer works. In the case of your file, you cannot even highlight the X, let alone click it. 

It's bizarre, isn't it?

I tested whether this has anything to do with the lightbox slide's settings and changed it to 'Reset to initial state' when revisiting. But this didn't make a difference.

I think I'll have to report this to the QA Team, seeing as accessibility is a high priority in SL2. This gives me hope that issues like these will be addressed more quickly than they are in SL1. I'll keep you posted on the response I receive.  

Kuriko A

Thanks Ashley, if you could report this to the QA Team for SL1 and SL2, that would be greatly appreciated. It's an important issue that needs to be addressed in order for Storyline to be compliant with accessibility guidelines.

Thanks for your suggestion Steve, but I can't see a way to hide the red 'X' button that appears with the native lightbox, so I think this would look a bit awkward to have the red 'X' button which does not function as expected and then next to it have a functioning Close button. Is this what you were meaning?

There is of course the workaround to create a custom lightbox slide, as other users have suggested in other threads. But in order to have the slide content become semi-transparent in the background and have the lightbox content in front of it, I imagine I would need to add this custom lightbox as a layer onto every slide, so that you can see the current slide content in the background. Is this correct that this would be the only way to achieve this?

And even if I go to the effort of adding the custom lightbox layer onto every single slide, there doesn't appear to be a way to activate this layer from a link at the top of the player. That is what I'm using the lightbox feature for at present - a References and Help link at the top of my player.

And ever if we can get that to work, the custom lightbox slide will only ever appear in the content area of the player. It cannot fade out the entire player in the background (including the Menu/Notes tabs on the side) and appear over the top, in the same way that the native lightbox feature does. 

So there is a clear necessity for the native lightbox feature to function correctly when operating a course with a keyboard. I will keenly await any updates on this accessibility issue. 


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kuriko, 

I'll share this with our QA team. Had you submitted a case with our Support engineers? I just want to make sure I close the loop on that if you did - otherwise, no need to and I can handle it from here. I'll provide any updates here once they're available but in the meantime please use the workaround of creating your own custom lightbox. 

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